iStock.com Changing Pricing Structure

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iStock is often credited as the birthplace of the microstock industry: widely-sourced, inexpensive images available for purchase and usually royalty-free. Well, the pioneering spirit continues at iStock as they change up the microstock landscape they helped found.

On September 13th, the pricing structure for iStock images will be streamlined. Each image will fit into one of two categories: The Essentials Collection of what iStock terms "everyday images," or the premium content-filled Signature Collection. The best part, though? Pricing is based on which collection the images are part of, meaning all files sizes within a collection are the same price. The Essentials Collection content will be priced at 1 credit, whether you need a small web-ready photo, a high-res poster image, or even a vector image. The Signature Collection images will set you back 3 credits for any size image or vector.

For those with existing iStock credits, not to worry, those credits will be converted. Judging by the explanation graphic on the iStock website, the credits will be converted using a system of ratios, physics, alchemy, and Timelord technology, which I'm sure is totally equitable. For files you download after the pricing transition, you can re-download any other file size at any time—which great for those of us that are quite certain and quite wrong we will only ever need the small image. Adding an extended license to an image or video clip will cost 18 or 21 credits, respectively.

Do you buy microstock images? What are your thoughts on the new pricing structure? Let me know in the comments.

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